video game complaining
I have to say that the flora was probably the most disappointing part of NMS for me—it's amazing for the first thirty minutes to see all the weird plants but then you go to a new planet and see that the plants there are just meaningless variations on the same handful of templates you've already seen. plus there's no real model of ecology and biodiversity—from my office chair in manhattan I can see more species of plant than there are on an entire planet in NMS
i feel like you could write a phd thesis on any given square yard of nyc sidewalk but you could only write ~1.5 paragraphs on an equivalent area of any nms planet (without immediately diving into general software/platform materiality). (i'm risking operationalizing "interestingness" here which isn't what i mean—i don't think the interestingness of these two artifacts can be compared, but this is why procgen for me is always an exploration of systems & aesthetics, not stand-in for "content")
the primary failure of procgen in nms being that it exists almost purely to bolster a kind of verisimilitude of the infinite—as galaxy set dressing, essentially. very different even from (eg) random gear in borderlands 2, which offers no verisimilitude ("infinite different guns!" isn't an important part of the fiction) but *does* materially affect how you play the game (watching out for drops, adjusting strategies for drops that are good in some ways but substandard in others)
@aparrish he looks way more like a doctor who than a spock to me
@aparrish I don't know any of this but I recently discovered Monty Don's series on french gardens on Netflix and it's the best thing ever.
Now I want to watch the parody but I believe I have unreasonably high expectations.
@aparrish It's been interesting to watch the game as they keep updating it. It seems they understand at least some of this criticism because I keep seeing more variety with each update.
some nms spoilers
@aparrish I think I've also forgiven more of it since the storyline reveals that all of it is a computer generated multiverse for the purpose of providing infinite exploration fodder for the character(s).
@aparrish Also, I would totes read that dissertation.
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